Hobby Japan: Lili Ryona

NSFW Warning

I have to admit that this was really an impulse buy more than anything, I was never all that in to the Tekken series but thought I should get a companion for Christie.  Lili was scheduled to be released in June but actually got pushed up to February, I had intended to the review right away as a follow-up to Christie, but then got side tracked by the baby and Mass Effect 3. 

I ordered Lili through Hobby Fan, which usually takes longer to receive figures as they first need to get their shipments from Japan.  So I was rather surprised when I received an e-mail notifying my payment had gone through and that the figure was being prepped for shipment.  It was a pleasant surprise, however the timing could’ve been better as I was definitely not ready to do her review yet.  So Lili jumped the queue on a few other reviews I had on the go and now that I’m finished with Mass Effect 3, I’m gonna try to get back into publishing these before I get caught up on other things (like the Guild Wars 2 open beta events).  Okay, so that was a bust!  With the new baby and Diablo 3 it diverted my attention away from the reviews – now I have a major back log of stuff I want to get out with little time before Guild Wars 2 launch of August 25th.  LOL

As I’ve said, Lili was an impulse buy – I didn’t know there was going to be a figure of her until I was browsing around Hobby Fan and saw she was up for pre-order.  Being a Hobby Japan exclusive, it probably made me want her even more – I have a disorder when it comes to exclusives.  LOL

When I received Lili’s box, I was rather surprised at the size and the design (or rather lack thereof).  This black and white box is very similar to Ivy Valentine’s (Soul Calibur) box and simplistic.  Lili sat very securely in the box though and there was a lot of space in case of accidental damages to the outer shell.  Of course that also means a bigger box and more expensive shipping cost.  :(

I’m definitely a fan when it comes to dynamic / action poses and Lili is definitely that.  When I first saw her, I thought she had a rather cool kicking pose and that would match Christie’s figure nicely.  Granted, I did worry about leaning issues, but I’ll get into that a little later.  For now, let’s just focus on the figure as a whole.  Lili is advertised as 1/8, though I haven’t seen any concrete evidence of that anywhere, not even on the box.  Her size is similar to Christie’s, which Kotobukiya listed as 1/7 so what scale is she really?  Lili’s body porportions are reminiscent of a 1/7 figure, but she is roughly 20cm in height.  I would think 1/8 scale makes a little more sense than Kotobukiya’s 1/7, not sure how Christie ended up being marked as 1/7 scale.  Head to toe, Lili stands at roughly 20.5cm.

While Lili originated from the Tekken series, this version is also based upon the Queen’s Gate version – which I guess explains the ecchi-ness of her pose.  A big question mark was also the fact that no one seemed to know who manufactured Lili, though it appears recently it’s been confirmed that Lili was manufactured by MegaHouse.  There were a number of people that believed she was made by Kotobukiya due to the scale, prototype quality and their recent Tekken figures.  I also thought it might’ve been from Kotobukiya as Lili comes pre-screwed into her base, much like many Kotobukiya figures.

The kicking motion is pretty cool even if the upskirt is so blatantly obvious; but on the positive side it is completely justifiable and explainable should your nosey friends or family members asks about Lili.  At least that’s what I tell myself anyway, I haven’t put her out on display yet as I don’t have the room.  That said, though Lili is a “wide” figure, she doesn’t take up too much real estate.  Since her leg is up in the air, you have some flexibility in terms of rotating her around to fit in a better position for display.  The majority of her body is contained within the disc base’s diameter, though you can argue the disc base may be too big to begin with and that would be true too.  So yeah, I guess I have just contradicted myself in a review… nuts.

 

There really isn’t anything spectacular in terms of Lili’s facial expression, she appears to have a little smirk on her face with a hint of confidence.  Like many anime figures, her eyes are wide apart – but for some reason, it looks really weird when I stare at her face long enough.  Maybe it’s due to her elongated facial features and the way her hair covers the sides of her face?  But that probably matters little, given the overall eye candy of the figure.  I can assure you anyone who looks at her won’t be noticing the width between her eyes.

Honestly speaking, one of the major reasons I decided to get this figure was due to the amount of detail in her dress.  The sculptor (Mazaki Yuusuke) did an excellent job with Lili’s dress, the amount of detail rivals any high quality gothic maid figures.  Though I think Alter’s Saber Alter Maid is still the “queen of the hill” in this category, and this is coming from someone who doesn’t care much for maid outfits.

Being that her dress is white, the paint application is crucial to the success of the overall presentation of the figure.  If your coat is too light, you’ll have primer showing, if you have too much the white will look thick and globbery (if that’s even a word).  Then there’s also the shading and hilighting – while this can be ignored (and often times do by lesser manufacturers) – Lili does not shy away from this challenge.  Looking closely at Lili’s dress, you can see the darker shaded areas painted into the crevices of her dress, there’s also a slightly brighter white on the highlighted area to separate the raised parts visually.  The shading is watered down to provide a slightly faded / gradient effect, which I tink deserve special mention / kudos to MegaHouse.  While parts of these painted areas are a bit harsh (seen later in the review), it’s overall satisfying when looking at the figure as a whole as there’s depth represented in her clothing.  It’s not just one white coat of paint, which would’ve really cheapened the figure’s presentation.  The production model appears to be different from the earlier prototype which had a pearl / glitter effect, the production model is matte, which I don’t mind at all.  All that pearl effect actually looked a little cheap to me.

 

Since Lili’s outfit isn’t very colourful (basically white and red), the shading effect is a very welcoming presence.  Her huge red bow definitely stands out, but the contrast in colour isn’t an eye sore either – it’s reminiscent of the Japanese flag.  =P  One detail that was left out on this figure is the checker pattern on Lili’s bow – I’m fairly certain the original illustration and her design has a checker pattern on the bow.

The only other colour in her entire outfit would be her panties – which is a light turquoise?  I’m not sure what the reasoning is behind this colour choice, but I guess those who usually bitch about “boring white panties” will be happy about this.  I’m not sure if this would’ve been the colour I’d pick to wear, if I was a girl wearing a short skirt – it just doesn’t feel right.  The colour feels out of the blue and doesn’t match the ensemble – but it does “pop” and catches attention yet not drastically take all the attention away from the rest of the outfit.

Another aspect of this figure I admire is the amount of sculpting detail done on Lili’s legs, particularly her thigh muscles – she definitely look like she has a strong pair of legs.  It also doesn’t hurt that Lili has a roundly sculpted ass – looks like Chun-Li has some competition!  ;-)

One area of concern on this figure were her hands.  When the prototype photos of Lili were published, it showed very crude paint work on her hands, the quality resembled a gashapon figure or a bootleg.  Example 1 and Example 2.  As you can see below, the final execution is much better and cleaner – while the black outlines in her gloves are still a bit crude, I think it helps make the details pop better and more visually appealing from a distance.  I was also content with the fact that the fingernails were painted properly and not a glob of glue that covers the whole finger.  As I’ve mentioned in previous reviews, that’s a major pet peeve of mine – if you’re going to be an artist/painter, learn to paint inside the lines!  Not everything is abstract art.  ^_^’

Lili’s hair, like the prototype, has a pearl like effect to the paint job though slightly toned down.  It’s not as noticeable unless you get in close to check the fine details – but as you’re doing that, you’ll also notice slight shading in the crevices of her hair.

A concern I had when I saw Lili’s pose was whether she will become a leaner – if you’re a figure collector, I’m sure the same thoughts ran through your head.  Given the dynamic pose and the extended nature of her legs, there’s a lot of weight outside of the center of gravity.  I had doubts whether her left leg would be able to support the entire figure – while I was doing the photo shoot, Lili was able to support herself on that one leg though I’m fairly certain she will develop a lean if not supported properly.  Luckily, the figure actually came packaged with a support stand for her right leg – this is a much needed accessory if you intend to display her outside of the box for a long period of time.  Though not as aesthetically pleasing, it’s better to be safe than sorry!

An optional piece that comes with the figure is the red flash mounted under her right foot.  The red “flash” mounted below her left foot can’t be removed unless you unscrew her foot from the base though.  Then again, I haven’t tried that so perhaps the red flame is glued to the left foot so you’re unable to remove it anyway. LOL  The flashes, as I’m gonna call them, are made of semi-transparent plastic, which I think helps add to the coolness factor of the figure.  Sometimes these transparent pieces can make a figure look cheap, but I think it’s alright here and justified being that it’s suppose to resemble “light” – thus the transparency.

 

Admittedly, Lili was a bit cumbersome to take photos of due to her extended pose.  Getting the entire figure within the frame usually left a lot of unpleasing white space to the photo, which I also found very boring.  So I tried playing around with the lighting but got lazy with making all the different adjustments and setup so I went back to a constant light source to finish off the photo set.  =P

While I do enjoy doing more strobist type shots, the setup really bogs me down.  Since I don’t have a dedicated area for my shoots, I’d have to setup and clean up everytime I do a shoot.  I really miss the bachelor life sometimes - all that freedom, being able to do whatever I want and when I want.  Though I am possibly moving to a bigger place in the near future, with that, I’ll be able to have a room for myself to setup something permanent and to display my figures and mechas.  That is, unless the wife changes her mind.  =(

Getting back to the figure - I mentioned earlier that I got Lili in part due to Christie.  Their poses just compliment each other so perfectly, and I’m a sucker for collecting “sets” (though these aren’t technically a set), but you kow what I mean.  :)

So is Lili a figure that I would recommend to others?  Only if you’re a real Tekken fan – for the regular collector, maybe your money will be better spent elsewhere.  Lili is a good figure with a lot of nice detail in the sculpt, but I don’t think she’s worth the exclusive price tag (roughly $150 CAD).  While I like her pose, there’s not much about her that screams special or unique – if you’re into the upskirt, there are tons of other figures you can get for a better price (such as Ikki Tousen figures).  As I’ve said, Lili was an impulse buy for me, do I regret it? No.  But maybe later on I will, as I do feel my attraction to this figure slightly fading since I first started this review over three months ago.  LOL

Lately, I’ve been trying to cut back on figures and only getting those that have special meaning to me or that I find something really unique with a figure – so this might also be swaying my views on this figure compared to when I first got her back in February.  As of this writing, it looks like Hobby Japan is coming out with another version of Lili (in a black outfit).  While I usually prefers black to white versions of a figure, if I had the choice between these two I would pick the white version of Lili.  The black version appears to be all glossy, as it’s much harder to shade and hilight black – so I prsume gloss is there to help add some depth to the details.  Otherwise all details will be lost on the figure and it’d look rather flat.  So I recommend getting white version if you’re deciding which one to get.  :)